Sunday, May 03, 2015

Session in the Paddock 3rd May

It rained over night and midday we saw a Dad and his kids in the paddock taking free kicks at the goal from the wicket. A bit gutting when they're wearing football boots and taking out great big lumps of grass off the wicket as it's wet, but being a public space there's nothing we can do or say other than to go over there after and try and repair it. Fortunately it was just in front of the bowling crease where we follow through, so not too important.

Once they'd gone Joe and I went over with the stumps and a windball just to do some light practice. Because of the wet we couldn't really bat at the normal end and we positioned ourselves in the middle initially and then I realised that because we've pulled all the brambles and weeds off and away from the fence we could use the fence as a net. I then had the idea of using the rubber bowling mat which we use on the crease to protect the grass when we rotate in our action - to land the ball on. I realised that because of the angle the wicket is at this end that the ball would naturally come into the batsman like a leg break so enabling us to practice leg side shots which are impossible at the other end because the balls would end up in the woods!

One of us fed the ball from the cone aiming to land it on the mat. We then  practiced going down the wicket to hit the ball as it pitched, paddle sweeps, slog sweeps and blocking it. All the legside shots played at the opposite end are impossible so it was good to realise the potential of this end with the fence just the left in the image above.
Me simulating coming out to the pitch of the ball.
Overall it felt like a good afternoon, this is something I've never practiced before so it was good to give it and go and a lot of the time it was pretty successful, so we'll be giving this a go more regularly over the coming months.
I've been without a camera for some time now, I'd mislaid the camera with the video function, but I've recently found it, so hopefully I may get some footage for Youtube of our accuracy drills that we do.
This is our accuracy mat that we use, we place the mat so that the centre of it is 4 yards down the crease from the stumps and we try and bowl onto it. We designate one of the three strips the key target and say if we hit that we get three points. So in one session we might say the right hand strip is the one we're aiming at and if we land the ball onto that we get three points. The centre strip 2 points and the strip on the left 1 point. A bonus point is gained if we spin the ball from the 'Three point' strip onto the stumps.
Over the last couple of days we've been doing this and I've been scoring high (We bowl an overs worth aiming to get as many points as possible). But tonight with a camera on me with the hope that I might upload it, I was barely able to land it on the mat!!! A touch of the Moeen Ali's ... not being able to perform under pressure! We'll have to see how it goes over the next few days.